October 27, 2010
Trey Thompkins continues to get positive press following his nomination as preseason SEC Player of the Year. One of my favorite articles so far comes Andy Katz talking about Trey's status as the best big man in the league. It's a very encouraging read.
On a separate note, I noticed Nick Jacobs committed to Alabama yesterday. It's unfortunate that Jacobs didn't give us a longer look given that we have so much playing time available, and his connection to the program via David Jacobs (former football player). The biggest issue with the 2011 recruiting right now is simply that the signing period is BEFORE what should be our breakout season. I hope to sign one more big man in the Spring, and we've got offers out to one more guard/wing for the Fall in Devin Langford and Dai-Jon Parker (Nov. 5th announcement scheduled).
I dropped by Stegeman on Friday to check out some of the renovation work, and I came away incredibly impressed. The all glass facade completely reshapes the look of the place from the exterior. Interestingly...to me at least...hanging each piece of glass properly is quite the ordeal. I counted 1 crane, 3 cherry pickers and 10-13 men required to install one panel of glass. Oh..and each panel looked to take about 25-30 minutes to get in place with two separate crews doing the work -- one on each side of the building . This photo from the Red and Black shows the work pretty well.
On Friday, it looked like they had 4 panels left on the Carlton Street side and about 10-12 panels left on the practice field side. I would imagine they are probably pretty close to finished on that aspect of the work. Anyone who wants to drive by the building and post a comment about the progress is welcome.
Interestingly, I talked to one of the guys on site who was supervising. He said they install a rubber connector of sorts to connect the top row of glass to the concrete roof of Stegeman. The connector has to allow for the expansion and contraction of the concrete. They've measured Stegeman's roof height during temperature variations as much as 50 degrees and found almost 4 inches difference in height as the concrete reacts to external temp swings. The roof "moves" less when the building is closed off to the outside temps...in other words when they finish they'll be able to regulate the internal temps much better and reduce the movement of the roof.
The crews are basically working around the clock to finish in time, and it looks like all the major work will be done in time for the Nov. 4th exhibition game. However, I would expect quite a bit of cosmetic work regarding the graphics and visual extras to be completed closer to the official home opener.
You have to hand it to Damon Evans. This is a high value investment in our basketball facilities.
One negative in all of this...I do have to say that it's a real whiff to have the exhibition game on Thursday, Nov. 4th instead of the originally announced Friday, Nov. 5th. There are lots of folks...me included...who just can't make three separate trips to Athens in one week. One trip for the exhibition game, one for the football game and one separate athletics related trip. We need to get that exhibition game next year moved back to the Friday before the home opener to help our fans.
That's all. Overall...momentum continues to build around basketball.